Nearly two weeks ago, a significant typhoon made its way through the Western Pacific as that region undergoes yet another stormy season. On May 19 and 20, 2007, Typhoon Amang, which also went by the international name of Yulu, moved through the Philippine Islands with winds as high as 105 mph and gusts over 125 mph according to news reports from that part of the world. For those who aren’t aware, typhoons are also hurricanes that occur in the Western Pacific region. Last year was a very busy and deadly season in the Western Pacific as a result of the warmer than normal ocean temperatures due to El Nino.
Meanwhile, in the latest news out of the Far East, a Japanese government report indicated that nearly one million homes in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be flooded if the region receives 20 percent more rainfall than it did from Typhoon Kathleen in 1947, which is still the largest typhoon to strike there since World War II. Nearby in China, officials warned the public that portions country could be hit with weather disasters ranging from Northern China to the Western provinces of Xinjiang and Gansu along with neighboring Inner Mongolia are expected to have sandstorms over the next three days. And that warning didn’t include the possible threat from typhoons this season.
In 2006, there were a number of deadly and devastating storms in the Western Pacific including: Typhoon Chanchu, which was a typhoon that formed 40 days earlier than usuaal, and killed some 294 people in the Phillipines, Southern China, and Southeast Asia (including 276 in Vietnam), and Typhoon Bilis, which was the longest lasting storm on record. The development of these storms in the wake of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and rising concerns over global warming as well as the deadly tsunami that hit Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, increased calls to speed up disaster plans throughout the region.